Trees are living things, which means they are susceptible to getting certain diseases. Just like in human beings, there are certain symptoms to look for in order to determine what kind of disease a tree might have. Here are three common tree diseases and symptoms of each.
Dutch Elm Disease
Certain types of diseases only affect certain tree species, as is the case with Dutch elm disease, which affects American elm trees. The disease is caused by a fungus called Ophiostroma ulmi and is usually carried from one tree to another by insects. Once the root system of one tree is infected, it can easily spread to other elm trees in the same row of trees.
Common symptoms of Dutch elm disease include:
- Leaves begin to wilt
- Leaves turn yellow and brown
- Branches begin to develop streaks of discoloration
These symptoms usually begin in early summer but can happen at any time during the growing season.
This tree disease primarily affects trees in the red oak and live oak families but do not usually affect white oaks. Oak wilt is caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum and is spread underground through the root systems of the trees. The main cause of oak wilt is when the tree sustains some type of injury.
Common symptoms of oak wilt include:
- A green oily appearance on the leaves in the canopy of the tree
- Leaves in the canopy begin turning tan or red
- The tree begins to rapidly shed its leaves
In live oaks, the main symptom is something called veinal necrosis, which is when the midrib of the leaf begins to turn a yellowish brown color.
This tree disease affects shortleaf pine trees and is caused by microscopic roundworms called nematodes, as well as a fungus called Phytophthora cinnamomi, which can be found in the soil. Oftentimes, the fungus or nematodes prevent the tree from getting the proper amount of nutrients.
Common symptoms of Littleleaf disease include:
- The needles begin to shorten and turn yellow
- The crown of the tree begins to thin out considerably
- Branches begin to die
The diseased tree will eventually begin to drop small cones with sterile seeds inside.
There are different ways to treat these tree diseases, and it often depends on the type of disease, the location of the tree, and the stage of the disease. In some cases, trees can be treated with pruning or improving the soil. If the tree is too far gone, or is a threat to other trees, the only option might be tree removal. Contact a service, like Destiny's Tree Service LLC, for more help.